Title: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Author: Christopher Paolini
Genre: Science Fiction
Narrator: Jennifer Hale
Length: 32.5 hours (880 pages)
Publisher: Tor Books; Macmillan Audio
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Recommended for Fans of: epic sci-fi shows like Stargate
Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.
Now she’s awakened a nightmare.
During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.
As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.
While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope . . .
I read Eragon in high school, but I don’t remember much about it and I never finished the Inheritance Cycle, so I had no expectations about Paolini’s writing going into this. I adored this epic, emotional, and beautifully written tale.
I loved Kira’s journey throughout the book, and it is refreshing to read a sci-fi epic with a female lead who is both strong and vulnerable. She experiences horrifying trauma and events that alter the foundation of who she is as a person. With a motley cast of supporting characters, a major strength of this book is how otherworldly experiences are grounded in human emotions.
The amount of research that went into this book is apparent and impressive. The world building is imaginative, expansive, thoughtful, and rooted in science.
My only complaint is that the book is so long. While I loved the depth and breadth of this book, it dragged in a few places, and the long interstellar journeys felt a bit repetitive. I’m conflicted how I feel about the ending. While Jennifer Hale’s audiobook narration was fantastic, I think I would’ve had a better experience reading the words and taking my time to contemplate the deeper meaning of story rather than trying to power through the audio at 2x speed.
I highly recommend this for fans of science fiction that really makes you think about humanity and morality.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the ALC in exchange for an honest review.